Health workers’ pensions fears
A FINANCIAL advisor is reporting a dramatic increase in calls from NHS staff concerned that public sector cutbacks will hit their pensions. This is the link to the northern echo page: Will NHS staff turn to equity release schemes over pension fears?
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North-East financial adviser Carterbar says that it is receiving increasing requests for help from NHS staff concerned about their pensions as public sector cutbacks start to bite.
The company, which is based on the Belasis Business Park, in Billingham, Teesside, says more and more NHS staff fear that they may lose their jobs or be forced to retire earlier than planned because of public sector budget restrictions. This has led to more staff, particularly in their late forties and fifties, having to seriously consider their pensions. The same is true is people working in other public sector fields.
A major concern for the NHS staff approaching Carterbar is the impact of changes to the NHS Pension Scheme, which was introduced in April 2008 for anyone joining after that date. However, those staff already working for the NHS at the time had the option of staying with the existing scheme.
Those approaching Carterbar have primarily remained on the previous scheme but are now questioning whether it was the right decision. The company’spensions expert, managing director Arthur Dornan, said: “With increasing concern about job security, more and more NHS staff are looking harder at their pension arrangements.
“The problem for them is the existence of two schemes, which is confusing, and they do not know whether to stay on the existing one or change to the new one. In times like these, every penny counts and the NHS staff we are seeing are keen to make sure that they make the right decisions to secure their future.
“The cutbacks in public sector spending are bringing issues like this into sharp relief and will continue to do so in the months and years to come. We are already seeing increasing numbers of public sector workers concerned for the future.
“ People who thought they had another 15-20 years in the job, and believed that worries about pensions were far in the future, are now looking at their situations and wondering how they will be able to manage when they stop working NHS staff are a graphic example of the concerns facing people who thought they were secure in employment.
“For some NHS staff, for instance, sticking to the old scheme will be the best option, for others switching to the new one will make more financial sense. It is crucial that they make the right decision because getting it wrong could cost them money, which is where our guidance is so valuable.”
Carterbar’s services include advice on pensions, mortgages, life assurance, income protection, investments and medical cover.
Released by Aegies Associates on behalf of Carterbar Independent Financial Advisers